HUNTINGTON BEACH — Ken Inouye, a 49-year resident of Huntington Beach, is running for a seat on the City Council.

In his self-introduction on his website, Inouye said, “My wife May and I raised our three daughters in Huntington Beach. As a longtime resident, I am concerned about our community’s well-being and the legacy we are leaving for the next generation.

Ken Inouye

“I have had the privilege of serving our community in many roles: certified public accountant, founding chair of the Huntington Beach Human Relations Committee, chair and board member of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, and president of the Japanese American Citizens League.

“I believe when people on opposing sides come together, in good faith, and for a common goal we can reach a solution that benefits the community. That is why I believe my election to the Huntington Beach City Council will allow me to be part of the solution as we move the city forward in a respectful manner for the next generation.”

In an interview with The Orange County Register, Inouye said that planned housing should include all stakeholders, including current residents, school leaders, public safety officials and other interest groups, “to develop a comprehensive plan that considers the impact of the new housing on schools, traffic patterns, parking, desired green spaces, environment, the local business community via the purchase of more local goods and services, and to consider how the housing plan could impact the quality of life for the people living in Huntington Beach.”

Inouye’s endorsers include:

Organizations — OC Labor Federation, OC Democratic Party, OC League of Conservation Voters, OC Young Democrats, Orange Coast Huddle

Elected officials — Rep. Katie Porter; City Councilmembers Natalie Moser, Rhonda Bolton, Kim Carr, Dan Kalmick; Gina Clayton-Tarvin, president, Ocean View School District (also a candidate for City Council); former Mayor Shirley Dettloff; Bonnie Castrey, president, Huntington Beach Union High School District; Oscar Rodriguez, Huntington Beach Planning Commission (also a candidate for City Council); former State Sen. Tom Harman; Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan; Irvine City Councilmember Tammy Kim; Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi

Community members — Sammy Lee, Kathryn Goddard, EDD, Dr. Michael Matsuda, Al Jabbar, Rusty Kennedy

According to The Orange County Register, Huntington Beach is one of only a handful of major Orange County cities that still hold at-large elections, meaning candidates run to represent the entire city rather than districts.

The field of 18 candidates for four City Council seats includes no incumbents. Councilmembers Barbara Delgleize, Mike Posey and Erik Peterson will term out this year. Councilmember Carr is running for State Senate.

Nonprofit CEO Billy O’Connell, a councilmember from 2014 to 2018, is trying to reclaim a seat, as is teacher Jill Hardy, whose 16 years on the council date back to 2002. Running again after losing in 2020 are small business owners Casey McKeon and Brian Burley.

Also running are Armory Hanson, Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board member; Gracey Van Der Mark, small business owner; Bobby Britton, retired military officer; David Clifford, director of operations for a chemical transportation provider; Vera Fair, senior project manager; Gabrielle Samiy, Orange Coast College student; Jeffrey Hansler, organizational development expert; Robert Vincent Reider, senior business consultant; Mike Vogler, attorney. 

Running as a group for the four open seats are McKeon, Van Der Mark, former Assemblymember Tony Strickland and retired Long Beach police officer Pat Burns.

Vote-by-mail ballots were expected to start going out Oct. 10. For those who want to vote in-person, centers will open starting Oct. 29.

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